Oftentimes, when you classify a coach as "on the hot seat," at least portions of the fan base are going to react a predictable way: No he's not, they will say, and proceed to list the reasons why their guy will not be fired no matter what happens next year -- barring, of course, total disaster. I don't sense the same hesitance among the LSU fans base when it comes to Les Miles. Even his supporters seem to concede that Miles needs to do well this year to not get ousted.
Sure, LSU had a fine season on the surface in 2009, as we've talked about all week, but there seemed to be something that wasn't quite there -- this was a nine-win team, but not a great nine-win team. Which presents me with a little bit of a problem here, because while I predict wins and losses and the likelihood of those wins and losses in the preseason, I don't predict margins. The former is just fun; the latter is simply insane.
But here's LSU at nine wins, good for third in the West (they win the head-to-head tiebreaker with Auburn) and an outside chance to go 11-1, with a loss to someone because the coach is Les Miles and the offensive coordinator is Gary Crowton, and those have to be the 12 most frightening words for any football team hoping to go undefeated. (Except maybe "Meet your next SEC bowl opponent, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel," but I digress.)
And the Cotton Bowl is a solid enough destination for an SEC West team -- about as good as the third-best team in the division can hope to land. Of course, if that Arkansas upset is instead a reality, you could be talking Capital One or ... or ...
Well, let's not put any more expectations on Miles. But I'm guessing he'll still be on the Baton Rouge sidelines when the 2011 season begins.
Place: 3rd in the SEC West
Record: 9-3, 5-3 SEC
Could be: 6-6 to 11-1
Best chance for an upset (aside from obvious): Arkansas
Bowl: Cotton Bowl
9.4.10 | NORTH CAROLINA (Atlanta) | POSSIBLE WIN
9.11.10 | at VANDERBILT | LIKELY WIN
9.18.10 | MISSISSIPPI STATE | PROBABLE WIN
9.25.10 | WEST VIRGINIA | PROBABLE WIN
10.2.10 | TENNESSEE | PROBABLE WIN
10.9.10 | at FLORIDA | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.16.10 | McNEESE STATE | WIN
10.23.10 | at AUBURN | POSSIBLE WIN
11.6.10 | ALABAMA | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.13.10 | LOUISIANA-MONROE | WIN
11.20.10 | OLE MISS | POSSIBLE WIN
11.27.10 | at ARKANSAS | POSSIBLE LOSS